Angel Flight East- Helping Lift the Financial Burden of Travel for Medical Care

When an individual needs crucial medical care far from home, the last thing the family should be concerned with is whether or not their loved one will be able to get where they need to go. Expenses associated with travel, however, on top of considerable medical fees can be a tremendous obstacle. Getting the proper medical treatment is an urgent matter, but when a patient or their family can’t afford the cost of transportation they’re left with few options. That’s when compassion flight organizations like Angel Flight East (AFE) step in to lift this financial burden and provide a means of travel for the patient in need.

Read more at Philadelphia County Medical Society

Making it Happening Charity Spotlight: Angel Flight East

Imagine having a medical condition that required treatment that was only available at a location far from your home. How would you get there and could you afford transportation? If there were no other options for care, what would you do? For thousands of people across the county, that very scenario is all too real, but thanks to organizations like Angel Flight East, help is just a plane flight away. The Blue Bell based non-profit offers free air transportation to children and adults in need of medical treatment at facilities far from home as well as compassion flights to visit loved ones undergoing treatment or to assist in disaster relief efforts. Read more at Montco Happening

Volunteer pilot and Angel Flight East save Thanksgiving for Indiana Township brain cancer patient

Special brain cancer treatments out of state could have kept an Indiana Township woman away from her family on Thanksgiving. Thanks to a volunteer pilot with Angel Flight East, a non-profit program, she’s home for the holiday. “It’s crazy how your life changes in a minute and you have no control of it,” said Gina Runyan, a former labor delivery nurse for 35 years with UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital and whose brain cancer was discovered after she suffered a seizure in January. Watching the full story from ABC Pittsburgh

Angel Flight Helps Patient Get Home For Thanksgiving

A beech bonanza aircraft brought home a special delivery just in time for Thanksgiving. “I’m so thankful for Angel Flight East to make this happen,” said Gina Runyan. Gina Runyan has brain cancer. “I just had brain surgery last week. Luckily I got into a clinical trial which is going to require me almost weekly to travel from Pittsburgh to Duke,” said Runyan. Watch the full story from CBS Pittsburgh

Local volunteer pilot flies patients to life-saving treatment

“When I turned 35 in 1992, I wasn’t getting any better at golf, probably because my head was in the air the whole game watching planes fly by,” said Tom Mellett last week. “I figured I better get another hobby. As a kid of the 1960s, the space program and all things aviation were pretty exciting. I like to figure out how things work and thought there would be a lot to learn by training to become a pilot. So I got my pilot’s license in about 10 months and went on to get my instrument rating two years later.” Read more at The Chestnut Hill Local

Local ‘angel’ helps boy with rare disease make his appointments in Philadelphia

A rare congenital disease has changed the lives of one Lynchburg family, costing them thousands in medical bills. But, they said thanks to an “angel” they’ve been able to do more. Norien Jones looks like your average two year old, he’s always on the move, but it’s the way he moves that’s a little different. Watch the Full Story on ABC 13

Galzerano’s Funeral Home Show

Angel Flight East Executive Director, Ellen Williams, was featured on the Galzerano’s Funeral Home Show hosted by Michael Shiller on August 14th. Click here to listen to the full show

The Benefits of Working With Compassion Flight Organizations

The costs of travel, in addition to the expenses for ongoing medical care or treatment, often put a tremendous burden on patients and their families. Social workers frequently act as the primary resource helping clients who require transportation for medical treatment—coordinating care, answering questions, and even assisting families in addressing the complexities of related travel. Read more at Social Work Today

Compassion Flights 

In an exciting reversal of trends, general aviation aircraft ownership in the U.S. is increasing. According to the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, GA aircraft based in the United States rose from 199,000 in 2014 to approximately 204,000 in 2015, the first increase in private ownership since 2009. As more aircraft and pilots take to the skies, it’s important to note many of those GA pilots aren’t merely taking pleasure trips or scheduling for-profit charter flights. . Read more

Angel Flights Helping Patients in Virginia

Click here to view the news piece featuring AFE pilot John and passenger Pat, who flies from Virginia to Philadelphia for treatment at Cancer Treatment Centers of America.

Angel Flight East Flies Patients to a Better Life

A nonprofit that gives free air fair for people who need medical treatment far from home. That’s what Angel Flight East is doing right here in our backyard. NBC10 Anchor Tracy Davidson sat down with members of the organization to see how their 2017 Gala is helping to save lives and how NBC10 meteorologist Bill Henley will host the event. See the video here

Sharing the Gift of Hope and Flight

Angel Flight East was featured in Radius Magazine to help raise awareness about our service of providing free air travel to children and adults in need of medical treatment far from home.  Click here to read the full story.

You Go There: Ellen Williams

Surprise! AFE Executive Director, Ellen Williams, was featured on Good Day Philadelphia. Click here for the full story.

Wings of an angel: Angel Flight East offers free air transport for patients in need

Eight years ago, Yvonne Tallini of Baldwinsville was diagnosed with complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), a neurological condition that can cause even the lightest touches to be painful.josh-and-yvonne “You’re always in pain because the parts of your spinal cord that say you’re not supposed to be in pain stop working,” Tallini explained. “The pain becomes a disease itself.” Thanks to infusions of lidocaine and ketamine, Tallini is able to take the edge off her pain — “It works for me: I don’t pray for someone to cut off my legs,” she said — but she must travel to the Vincera Institute in Philadelphia every eight weeks. Nerve damage from CRPS prevents Tallini from making the trip by car, as she cannot sit for long periods of time.

That’s where Angel Flight East comes in. Read more at The Baldwinsville Messenger

“Angel” Pilots Great at Lessening Emotional Baggage

  • To become a good pilot requires a good altitude.angel-300x200
  • During his air test a young pilot flew through a rainbow. He passed with flying colors.
  • Some planes are so cramped that passengers suffer jet leg.

These lines would probably be appreciated by the real-life “Angel” pilots from Angel Flight East in Blue Bell who literally save the lives of children and adults who desperately need medical care. For example, in 2009, at two weeks old, Brayden Bateman was diagnosed with a rare case of eye cancer. Only about 300 children each year in America are diagnosed with retinoblastoma (RB), the condition with which Bateman was afflicted. (Retinoblastoma is a malignant tumor caused by immature baby cells in the retina, a thin layer of nerve tissue that coats the back of the eye and enables the eyes to see.) Read more at The Chestnut Hill Local

angel-flight-east-page-001Courtesy of The Merchandiser

scan168-page-001Courtesy of Johnstown Magazine

AFE Executive Director, Ellen Williams, featured on Woman of the Week

ben-fm Marilyn Russell, host of the 95.7 BEN-FM Morning Show, presents a full 30-minute Public Affairs talk Show “Woman of the Week,” Sunday Mornings at 7:30am on 95.7 WBEN-FM. Woman of the Week celebrates and showcases area women doing extraordinary things in their communities, non-profit organizations, in business, the arts, music, and more. Click below to listen to the podcast featuring Angel Flight East’s Executive Director Ellen Williams. Listen Here

Teen flown for medical care at no charge

Molly S. and Frank B. (2) The heat is already bringing people into area emergency rooms and a teenager in need of medical care said she was alive thanks to some very special “angels.” Imagine needing care and even surgery at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital but not living in Cincinnati. That was the story of a teen from Pennsylvania who flew in to Cincinnati thanks to a team from Angel Flight East. She will get the medical care she needs Friday, July 21, thanks to a little help from above.

See the full video at

From Richmond to Philadelphia, a quicker, more comfortable ride to treatment

Mike V and Bill Moore On a brisk morning, William Moore revs up his Beechcraft A36 Bonanza to fly cancer patient Michael Valdrighi home after a series of medical treatments. Moore is part of Angel Flight East — a coalition of pilots who volunteer their time and planes to fly medical patients from wherever they live to wherever they need to go for treatment. For Valdrighi, that’s from his home outside Richmond, Virginia to Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Philadelphia. He has renal cell carcinoma, a type of kidney cancer, and has been going to CTCA for three years. See the full story on WHYY online news magazine

Craig Groff and Brayton Martin(1)

AFE News PhotoAngel Flight donated to infant in need of life-changing surgery

Potentially life changing treatment. Pam cross tells us there is a reason they call these angel flights. The beechcraft bonanza touched down at logan midday. The aircraft, small but mighty, especially this drip, inside a mother and 6-month-old. The infant needs life changing surgery at boston children?s hospital. She has short bowl syndrome. His family lives in delaware. The trip is long, but a flight donated by angel flight makes checking in with physicians possible. Nine hours away. So to have him in the car that long is really hard. And then he has a central line and a g-tube that runs so having to pull over constantly to end the to the pumps is also a problem. The angel flight pilot flew from pennsylvania to pick them up in delaware and bring them to boston. Tom wallace has a successful business, like all angel flight pilots he donates his aircraft and his time. The fact is, he made a big difference in someone?s life. I would like to think so. Everybody pays a little bit for it and i have a lot of people that have helped me over the years. Baby reed seems unconcerned. See the video at WCVB5

A Patient Soars To RecoveryScreen Shot 2016-06-14 at 10.35a|Jun14

Chris Potter was not a fan of flying, until a group of pilots he had never met transported him to his lifesaving care team. Potter, then 42, was struggling through a relapse of acute lymphocytic leukemia in 2011. His cancer was not responding to treatment, and he required at least a temporary remission to handle the arduous stem cell transplant that might save him. Although he was eligible for a clinical trial led by Daniel D’Angelo, MD, PhD, at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center (DF/BWCC), it required weekly appointments at DF/BWCC’s Boston campus — but Potter lived 380 miles away in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Download the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute PDF From Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

A Local Non-Profit Takes To The Skies For A Good Cause – CBS Philly

BLUE BELL, P.A., (CBS) — Flying is David Gibb’s passion. “Some people have a cabin up north in the Poconos. Some people are big into golf. Mary and I are big into aviation,” Gibbs explained. Part of flying for Gibbs means volunteering his time, his plane and his fuel to transport sick patients and their families to treatment centers throughout the northeast. “In essence what we tell patients, you’ve got enough to worry about with your unfortunate situation, whatever that is. Let me take care of transportation.” Read more at CBS Philly

(Pictured from l-r: Lindsey C., Josh F., Chris P., Ellen W., Dean T., and Matt D., former AFE Board Member)

(Pictured from l-r: Lindsey C., Josh F., Chris P., Ellen W., Dean T., and Matt D., former AFE Board Member)

Arett Sales Golf Tournament benefits Angel Flight East

Many thanks to Arett Sales, Premier Distributor of Lawn, Garden, Home and Holiday supplies, for once again selecting Angel Flight East as the recipient of the proceeds from their annual Golf Tournament and Awards Luncheon. Arett Sales has supported Angel Flight East through proceeds raised at the Golf Tournament and Awards Luncheon since 2007. A highlight of the awards luncheon is the opportunity for Arett Sales guests-vendors, retailers and manufacturers-to hear the story of Angel Flight East. Guest speakers featured this year were Chris P., AFE patient, and two volunteer pilots-Dean T. and Josh F. Angel Flight East is so grateful to Arett Sales, particularly Lindsey C. and Mauri L., and their wonderful staff.

Brayton and Craig (Pilot Page)

‘Guardian Angel’ Pilot Continually Flies Ailing Boy to Hospital, Forges Deep Bond

Six year old Brayton and AFE pilot Craig were featured on ABC?s World News Weekend, as well as Good Morning America. Craig and Brayton have created an inseparable bond, ever since Craig started flying Brayton to and from treatments when he was just a baby. A special message from Craig to all AFE pilots, “All the pilots that donate their time, plane, and costs and also the patients we take are all the true heroes!” Read more at Yahoo News

Angel Flight provides a lift to those battling serious illness

Marleene DeNardo needs to see a specialist 700 miles from her home every month or two for treatment of a rare and aggressive disease, an arduous journey that would take more than 10 hours by car. But she has found another way to reach her destination that is much faster and free, thanks to the compassion of strangers. Since learning about an air transportation service called Angel Flight East a year ago, the North Carolina resident has taken nine flights with volunteer pilots to Philadelphia, where she is being treated for inflammatory breast cancer. Read more at The Baltimore Sun

Bahamas teen losing eyesight flown to Pottstown area for treatment

CA gaggle of area doctors and philanthropists have come together to take a young man from a small island in the Bahamas under their wings. Keddy “K.C.” Culmer, 19, returned home to the island of Eleuthera over the weekend, after spending one week in the region receiving medical attention for problems with his eyes that originated with his premature birth. Read more at The Mercury News

University of Delaware’s The Messenger: Angels in the Airfield

Chris Potter believes in angels. Diagnosed with leukemia in 2009 and soon in remission, Potter learned his cancer returned two years later, faster, more aggressive, almost fully resistant to treatment. He attempted a “hideously brutal” salvage therapy that summer, but the high-dose drug treatment failed. By November, his doctors advised him to return to his family and spend the remainder of his days with his wife and three children. And so, at age 41, Chris Potter came home, sat in his living room and prepared to die. Read more at The Messenger

AngelFlights2-WEBCatholic Star Herald: “Flights of angels fly patients to good health”

After years of medical procedures, Lisa and Frank Ranzino were told their 13-year-old daughter, Brianna, had less than a year to live. Now, five years later, Brianna is a sophomore in college at Immaculata University, ready to declare a major in social work. She wants to work with children. “When I was sick, social workers helped us a lot,” Brianna said. “She’s very compassionate. Kids have a soft spot in her heart. She’s been there; she knows,’ her mother adds. But along with social workers and medical professionals, thanks for Briana?s good health goes to a number of volunteer airplane pilots who plaayed a pivotal role in getting her the medical and personal care she needed. Read more at the Catholic Star Herald

Comcast Newsmakers

Jill Horner speaks with Todd Irwin, Board Member for Angel Flight East, about pilots volunteering to transport people for medical treatment.